Louvre preparing to re-open July 6 as France eases Covid-19 lockdown

A near-empty Louvre museum on March 13, 2020.
A near-empty Louvre museum on March 13, 2020. © Thomas Samson, AFP

The Louvre museum in Paris on Friday said it was planning to re-open its doors on July 6 following new steps announced by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe to ease the country's Covid-19 lockdown.

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In a statement, the Louvre, France's most visited museum, said a progressive re-opening would entail a reservation system and new signage that would enable "maximum security conditions" for visitors in addition to the wearing of masks and recommended social-distancing measures. 

The statement came a day after Prime Minister Philippe announced details of the second phase in the gradual lifting of France’s strict coronavirus lockdown, which included a nationwide reopening of bars and restaurants from June 2. But in Paris, where the risk of coronavirus spread remains higher than in the rest of the mainland, only the outside terraces of eating and drinking establishments can reopen to clients.

French Culture Minister Franck Riester on Friday held a meeting with the presidents of major cultural institutions and following this a provisional re-opening schedule was released. 

The Louvre Museum, the Tuileries gardens, the "jardin du Carrousel" and the Eugène Delacroix National Museum, all part of the same public institution, were all preparing for a phased reopening, the statement noted.

The "jardin du Carrousel" will open Saturday, May 30, while the Tuileries garden will open Sunday, May 31. Gatherings would still be restricted to groups of no more than 10 people.

The Louvre, which had 9.6 million visitors last year, closed in March, just days before France went into a strict nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the virus.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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